Here’s the second part of our list of the 10 best SNES games for Nintendo. Part one left off with Final Fantasy at number six. We’ve collated some of the biggest reviews of these games and looked at their average scores. This is the result.
A reminder of the rules
In this list, a game’s average launch reviews and a dash of opinion will be considered. If your favourite doesn’t make the list there’s a good chance it was considered. The SNES library has another 10 to 15 stand out titles that missed out. Release dates may appear as a range of years due to different release dates across regions.
Here’s part two of our list of the Top 10 SNES games of all time.
5. Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Released – 1993
Developer – Capcom
Publisher – Capcom
Copies Sold – 4.1M
Average Review Score – 94.9%
Street Fighter 2 Turbo is the third version of Capcom’s smash hit Street Fighter 2. Capcom’s fighting powerhouse saw countless competitor series and some pale imitators. The fighting game craze of the early 1990s had begun.
Turbo is a fantastic port of the arcade game. Turbo sped the gameplay up making the battles faster than ever. The button presses for combos needing to be more precise than ever to pull off the big moves. This made for frantic fun gameplay and they didn’t stop their characters such as Guile gained new moves.
Turbo also sees the debut of the overpowered Akuma. He appears and beats M.Bison to a pulp replacing him as the final boss. Akuma appears if the player has met certain criteria during their play through.
Japanese magazine Famitsu known for its critical scoring gave the game 36 out of 40. EGM also named Turbo as the best Super Nintendo Game of 1993.
The game shines in two-player mode and gave kids everywhere bragging rights over who could beat all their mates.
4. Super Mario World
Released – 1990/92
Developer – Nintendo EAD
Publisher – Nintendo
Copies Sold – 20.61M (Bundled With System)
Average Review Score – 91.8%
How do you top Super Mario Bros 3 and make an amazing launch game? Simple, Super Mario World!
Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto had the Midas touch with our favourite plumber.
Computer and Video Games Magazine (CVG) loved it giving Super Mario World 96%. “The gameplay is so addictive; you’d better be prepared to stay stuck to your screens until you’ve completed it! Omit, a totally fantastic game”
The game was massive on release featuring 96 different levels. Power-ups and new gameplay mechanics, allowing the player to float through levels (if you could keep Mario airborne).
Nintendo also debuted Yoshi the Dinosaur. Yoshi can eat enemies and gain abilities from eating the shells of Bowser’s Koopa Troopers.
Super Mario World sold over 20 million units becoming the bestselling game on the Super Nintendo. It’s worth noting most copies came bundled with the system, not to take away from the sheer number sold. Super Mario World arrived at the right time to take the console wars battle to that pesky hedgehog and his blast processing.
The gameplay and art style in Super Mario World make it still a great looking game to play today. It’s firmly one of Nintendo’s all-time classics.
3. Chrono Trigger
Released – 1995 (PAL Unreleased)
Developer – Square
Publisher – Square
Copies Sold – 2.31M
Average Review Score 90.7%
The second game on this list Europe missed out on. Square was at their absolute best when they made Chrono Trigger. Some people call it one of the best games of all time and it’s easy to see why it’s held in such high regard. Next Generation Magazine awarded it a four out of five, stating “it easily qualifies as one of the best RPGs ever made”
In this JRPG an experiment leads to discovering an apocalyptic event in the far future. Crono and a cast of characters from across time join forces to try and prevent a dystopian future.
Final Fantasy’s combat system is once again used, though what sets this game apart is its lack of random encounters. All enemies are visible when traversing areas and dungeons. Characters can combine for dual and triple attacks (techs) to unleash massive damage on opponents.
The story isn’t complex, yet draws you in. Square excelled at creating characters people genuinely wanted to see succeed. Chrono Trigger has you recruit, among others, a robot a cavewoman and even a sword-wielding frog. Who has one of the most compelling and tragic backstories of any character in a Super Nintendo game.
Chrono Trigger is a fantastic game and even if you’re not usually an RPG person, you will be after playing it.
2. The Legend of Zelda A Link to The Past
Released – 1991/92
Developer – Nintendo EAD
Publisher – Nintendo
Copies Sold – 4.6M
Average Review Score – 93.5%
A Link to the Past returned to the top-down gameplay of the original Legend of Zelda. The side-scrolling from The Adventure of Link is gone.
Critically acclaimed upon release Nintendo Magazine System reviewers gave the game a 96%. An EGM Reviewer was stunned starting his review with “Wow! This is the closest a game has ever gotten to a perfect 10”. Famitsu even gave A Link to the past a near-perfect 39 out of 40. Making it one of the highest-ranked games they had ever reviewed at that point.
A Link to the Past sees Link on a quest to save Hyrule from the evil Ganon. The Master Sword and parallel universes would also be introduced for the first time. The gameplay and variety of dungeons are excellent and has also aged well over time. (It’s like Nintendo have perfected an anti-aging formula).
The music like most of Nintendo’s first-party games is excellent with the over world theme being instantly recognisable. Like Final Fantasy VI, A Link to Past has had its soundtrack performed by orchestras.
A Link to the Past is one of Nintendo’s finest games and was considered for the top spot on this list. It was beaten to the post by one other game. It’s a must-play on the Super Nintendo and accessible via the Switch Online.
1. Super Metroid
Released – 1994
Developer – Nintendo R&D1/Intelligent Systems
Publisher – Nintendo
Copies Solid – 1.42M
Average Review Score – 91.1%
The foreboding atmosphere and the sense of isolation. The game’s creator Yoshio Sakamoto said “We had a strong desire to make something that people would compare to a movie”. He created something so much more.
Super Metroid is the third in the series. This time Samus Aran must stop Ridley and the Space Pirates from harnessing the power of a young Metroid.
The Metroid series awards players for their exploration with power-ups hidden all over the planet Zebes. You’re free to roam throughout, with every new ability gained allowing Samus access to new areas.
A big improvement is the inclusion of an in game map. In the first two Metroid games players had to rely on printed maps that came with magazines. Nintendo Power would publish extended features containing maps to help struggling players.
EGM named Super Metroid the best action game of 1994 and in 2003 they named Super Metroid as the best game of all time. Super Play Magazine would call Super Metroid “more of an experience than a game”.
The music, the setting, and the graphics make Super Metroid rather special. The game along with several other SNES games has aged amazingly well over time. The music gives an amazing sense of suspense and isolation to the world you’re exploring, full of creatures and massive memorable boss encounters.
Super Metroid is one of the best action-adventure style games ever made and it tops our list. The term “Metroidvania” is now used to describe games of a similar play style. It might only be a 16-bit game but play all the way through to the end for an ending you’ll never forget.
Putting this list together wasn’t easy. There was a short list of over twenty games to consider the standard was that high. Donkey Kong Country 2, Super Mario Kart, Earthbound and Super Mario RPG are a handful that didn’t make the list.
Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda A Link to The Past and Chrono Trigger were all placed close at the top of this list. All have received accolades and are talked about as not just some of the best games on the SNES, but as some of the best games of all time. Making them worthy of their places on this list.
And that’s the final part of our list of the 10 best SNES games, did we miss any? Do you agree with the order? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.
Read part one of our list of the 10 best SNES games HERE.
9 Rarest And Most Valuable Pokémon Cards In Existence
If you’re one of the millions of people with a set of Pokémon cards stashed away somewhere, it might be time to dig-lett them out (sorry). Time to see if any of these babies are in your collection. Here’s our list of the top 9 rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards in existence.
Chances are you haven’t caught them all. But having even one of these could net you a large wad of cash.
Pokémon has been an on/off craze ever since it first started back in the mid-’90s. But despite releasing games, a cult anime series and several films, it’s those little cards that are making a profitable resurgence right now.
Even in just the last three years, rare Pokémon cards have been sold for thousands of dollars at auction. So now is definitely the time to check your collection. Time to see if you could be sitting on a small fortune.
9. 20th Anniversary 24-karat Gold Pikachu
Crafted in solid gold
Sold for 216,000 yen ($2,081) in October 2016.
You don’t get much more unique than a Pokémon card made from solid gold. Yep, you heard right. This insanely unique and incredibly rare Pokémon card was produced by Japanese jewellery maker, Ginza Tanaka. A limited number of solid gold cards were created as a replica of the original Japanese Pikachu card (affectionately nicknamed ‘Fat Pikachu’).
Made from 11 grams of pure 24-karat cold, the only way to get a copy of this ultra-rare Pokémon card was to enter a lottery held in 2016. If you won, you were given the chance to buy a copy of the limited-edition card for 216,000 yen (around $2,081/£1,700).
The solid gold card was shipped in its own unique box and housed in a plastic frame. And what makes this even more incredible is that, whilst most rare and unique Pokémon cards stem from early on in the game’s beginnings, this card appeared for the first time in just the last 5 years. Definitely one of the rarest (and coolest) Pokémon cards in existence.
8. Master’s Key
A more recent card – but no less rare
Sold for $21,000 in November 2019.
Like the 20th anniversary gold Pikachu, Master’s Key is another rare yet relatively new Pokémon card. It made its first appearance just over ten years ago when it was awarded to competitors in the 2010 Pokémon World Championships held in Hawaii.
Participants in both the TCG (Trading Card Game) and video game counterpart received a copy of Master’s Key. Only the trophy case differed depending on the category.
Only 36 copies of the card are estimated to exist – equal to the number of participants in all age divisions of the world championships. And to prove just how rare this Pokémon card is, one of them sold at auction in November 2019 for more than $21,000.
7. Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star POP Series 5
A pair of Gold Star Pokémon cards from one of the most valuable Pokémon sets of all time
Sold for $22,100 and $20,000 respectively between December 2020 and February 2021.
The Gold Star Pokémon cards are one of the most valuable Pokémon sets ever produced. At the time of writing, a near mint full set of 27 cards is for sale on eBay. The price tag? £35,000 ($49,717).
But it’s the Espeon and Umbreon which are the real moneymakers. Perhaps the rarest cards in the set, these two alone sold for over $20,000 in just the last few months.
The cards are named after the gold star that appears next to the Pokémon’s name at the top of the card. It signifies that the card features alternative colour artwork which is different from the common version.
Only 27 Gold Star cards were released from 2004 to 2007. Making them some of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
Whilst the Japanese versions of the cards remain the most valuable due to their limited availability, the English versions of the Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star cards still command a high price. PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator – the prestigious organisation that grades the quality, condition and value of trading cards) values the two cards at $194,209 and $187,277 respectively. Easily making them two of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards around.
6. 1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
An ultra-rare promo card – one of only 12 ever made
Sold for $65,100 in October 2020.
When it comes to availability, you don’t get much rarer than the Tropical Wind card.
With just 12 being given to the top players at the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle tournament, the Japanese Tropical Wind promo card is extremely rare.
This inaugural tournament – a precursor to the Pokémon World Championships – took place in 1999 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, Hawaii. The event was invite-only and was a battle between the best 50 players from Canada, Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Japan. During the event, a handful of trophy cards could be obtained. One of these was this baby right here.
This particular Tropical Mega Battle promo card (the 1999 Japanese-language copy of Tropical Wind) has sold at auction for as much as $65,100 in PSA Gem Mint 10 condition, with the most recent sale taking place in October 2020. PSA estimates its value to be as high as $148,482. Making the ultra-rare card a contender for one of the most expensive and valuable Pokémon cards ever made.
5. No. 1 Trainer
Quite possibly the most unknown Pokémon card of all time
Sold for $90,000 in July 2020.
Most people won’t have ever heard of No. 1 Trainer, and it’s even more unlikely they’ll have seen a copy in person. When it comes to rare Pokémon cards, they don’t get much rarer than this.
With only seven copies believed to be in existence, No. 1 Trainer may well be the least known card in existence.
No.1 Trainer is a holographic promotional card awarded to finalists in the Secret Super Battle tournament held in Tokyo in 1999. To earn a place in the competition’s finals (which were held in a secret location) players had to first win a regional tournament. Their prize was the No. 1 Trainer card, which granted them access to the finals.
The text on the front of the card translates to: “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion is recognised here, and this honour is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Secret Super Battle.” It’s almost like a modern-day, real-life Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory.
As only seven regional tournaments were held, it’s believed that just seven copies of the No. 1 Trainer card were made – easily making it one of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
4. Pikachu Illustrator
Extremely expensive and extremely rare
Sold for $195,000 in October 2019.
The Pikachu Illustrator card is an incredibly rare Pokémon card. It still holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive Pokémon trading card sold at auction (although, more about this later…).
Pikachu Illustrator was originally given to winners of promo contests held in 1997 and 1998 by Japanese magazine CoroCoro Comic. 39 copies were officially awarded to the winners. While two copies were reportedly later discovered by one of the creators of the card game, seemingly bringing the total number of Pikachu Illustrator copies to 41.
As well as being ridiculously rare, the card is unique in a number of ways. It’s the only Pokémon card to say “Illustrator” instead of “Trainer” at the top. And has a one-off pen icon in its bottom-right corner to acknowledge its creation for the design contest. The card’s artwork of Pikachu is by Atsuko Nishida, the original illustrator of the fan-favourite Pokémon.
Approximately 19 copies of the card are believed to still exist, with 10 having been certified by the PSA.
A near-flawless copy of the card graded at Mint 9 (one grade under perfect condition) sold at auction in 2019 for $195,000 and broke a Guinness World Record. But arguably, there are a couple of contenders to that crown.
3. Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card
A signed card to celebrate the Pokémon founder’s 60th birthday
Sold for $247,230 in April 2021.
Of all the cards featured on this list, this rare and incredibly valuable Pokémon card is definitely one-of-a-kind.
Just last month on April 26, 2021, a copy of the Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card made headlines when it sold for nearly a quarter of a million US dollars.
The card depicts the Pokémon company founder and current president, Tsunekazu Ishihara. It was given to staff as a celebration of his 60th birthday in 2017.
What makes this specific version even rarer is that Ishihara actually signed this near-mint card to boost its price even further.
The ability “Red Chanchanko” refers to the red vest which is traditionally worn on 60th birthdays in Japan and prevents the effect of any attack, ability or trainer card against Ishihara. Meanwhile, its GX move “60 Congratulations” tells you to flip 60 coins, and take a present for each one. A truly unique, legendary card.
2. Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram
Quite possibly the only card one in existence
Sold for $360,000 in January 2021.
This Blastoise card is probably the single rarest Pokémon card in existence. One of only two such Pokémon cards ever made, it sold for a whopping $360,000 (£266,000) in January 2021.
This Pokémon card was created in 1998 as a presentation piece by Magic: The Gathering maker Wizards of the Coast to convince Nintendo executives to allow it to handle the TCG’s English-language release. The game would eventually make its international debut one year later in 1999.
While two Blastoise ‘Presentation’ cards were produced, this is the only one that has been seen publicly. Even more impressively, it has been graded at a NM/Mint+ 8.5 level by certification website CGC, meaning that the 20-plus-year-old card is in near-perfect condition. The location and state of the other Presentation card remain unknown. This either means that this card is the sole one remaining, or someone somewhere is unknowingly sitting on a small fortune.
1. 1999 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4
The card that every kid wanted
Sold for $369,000 in December 2020.
Charizard. The card that absolutely every kid (and adult too now, apparently) wanted. And while the shiny Charizard has always been a firm favourite, this particular variant is even rarer.
While a number of top quality, first-edition cards from the Pokémon TCG’s early days are worth some money, due to their limited availability and age, this specific version of the holographic Charizard absolutely stands out as one of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards ever released.
What sets the card apart is the lack of a shadow underneath the dragon graphic. This was a printing error which was corrected for most of the cards printed but the few that sneaked passed quality control are incredibly sought after.
According to auction house Iconic Auctions, the rare card is “the Holy Grail of Pokémon cards, the most iconic and important card to both the Pokémon franchise and its die-hard fans”.
A mint-condition first-edition shadowless holographic PSA 10 Charizard sold at auction in October 2020 for a staggering $220,574 to the retired rapper – and Pokémon fan – Logic. Then, just two months later in December, another one of the same quality sold for a mind-blowing £350,000.
But as if that wasn’t enough, just a few hours after that, yet another card broke all records, selling for a mind-numbing £369,000.
Although this hasn’t officially been recognised by Guinness World Records, this certainly knocks the Pikachu Illustrator off its perch, as well as the staggering sum held by the Blastoise Galaxy Star Hologram.
Either way, despite not being the rarest, this is definitely the most valuable Pokémon card sold to date. But with the desire for rare Pokémon cards showing no signs of slowing, the big question is: how much higher can their value go?
One thing’s for sure, if anyone out there truly has caught them all, that would make for one incredibly valuable collection.
And that’s our list of the 9 rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards in existence. Did you ever have any of these? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
Are Team Rocket just misunderstood? Read our article HERE.
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